I seek an opportunity to utilize my strengths in editing, researching, reporting, and writing as a media and publications professional.
Welcome to my online portfolio. My name is Rick Docksai, and I am a writer-editor who specializes in covering health, science, and technology news for Web sites, e-newsletters, and print magazines. With Master's Degree training in reporting and writing, and more than three years of on-the-job experience as assistant editor of science-and-tech magazine THE FUTURIST, I possess the knowledge and drive to gather technical information and relate it compellingly to any kind of audience, be they general readers, expert researchers, or industry insiders. Contact me to discuss what content I can create that will help your organization or business get its message across with maximum effectiveness.
Mar 2008 - Present
• Craft book reviews and news articles for the Society’s magazines the Futurist and World Future Review. News articles explore topics in business, ecology, health, and technology.
• Proofread every edition of the Futurist.
• Using the software program InDesign, assemble every edition of World Future Review. Upload all content onto the pages, organize them, and generate indexes.
• Upload articles and book reviews to the Society’s Web site for public viewing.
• Correspond with book publishers to obtain complementary copies of new nonfiction books for review and promotion in the Futurist and World Future Review.
• Devise illustrations and artwork to complement stories.
• Copy-edit articles from contributing writers prior to articles' publication in The Futurist.
• Upgraded both magazines’ daily operations by developing a new filing system for receiving and logging
review copies of nonfiction books. System saves editors time and facilitates communication among staff.
May 2009 - Present
• Research and write articles and reports for publications, think tanks, and businesses. Clients include:
o Patch.com: Report local news of several Maryland cities, including Hyattsville and Riverdale Park, for the news service Patch.com. Story topics range from construction and business-related developments to school programs and city-council sessions. Provide photographs for every story. In addition, stand in as substitute editor for Patch.com’s Hyattsville news website when the site’s editor is out of town. As substitute editor, edit site content, upload stories, and distribute story links via Twitter. (August 2010-present)
o LexisNexis: Edited and updated new indexes of thousands of records and transcripts of Congressional legislation, speeches, and votes dating back to the early 1800s. As a result of my efforts, Web users anywhere can now log on to LexisNexis and find any of these records and transcripts merely by entering search terms into the site’s search engine. (November 2009-January 2010)
o Washington Post: Created and edited biographical profiles of U.S. public officials for WhoRunsGov, a government-news Web site launched by Washington Post staff editors. (May 2009-November 2009)
Aug 2007 - Dec 2007
• Produced daily coverage of breaking news and long-term trends in private and public schools throughout Maryland. Independently decided topics, meeting challenging and changing deadlines.
• Co-wrote with fellow Capital News Service reporters stories of Maryland General Assembly’s votes.
• Nominated for the Society of Professional Journalists' 2007 Mark of Excellence Award for news story examining Maryland’s student-population declines.
May 2007 - Aug 2007
• Researched stories for the news station's "I-Team," or investigative reporting unit. Played a key role in gathering research data for I-Team reports on consumer health issues. Utilized Lexis-Nexis, Pacer, and other online tools. Conducted frequent telephone interviews of key sources.
• Generated graphs in Microsoft Excel to illustrate key information in stories for the station's Web site.
• Transcribed and time-logged videotapes of interviews.
Sep 2006 - Aug 2007
Copy Editor and Staff Writer
Hyattsville Life & Times
• Contributed monthly articles on local artists, musicians, and businesses.• Proofread stories and recommended edits. Stories included opinion articles; letters; announcements; local news reports; and feature stories on individuals, businesses, and area arts and entertainment.• Planned layout and story topics for all upcoming magazine editions.
May 2004 - Aug 2004
Research Assistant Intern
• Researched and fact-checked for Resident Scholar Joshua Muravchik’s now-published book The Future of the United Nations.
• Utilized Library of Congress archives, Congressional Quarterly Almanac, and online data sources of Congressional votes to research historical background for Muravchik’s weekly op-ed articles.
Aug 2001 - May 2005
I encapsulate Neil Abercrombie's early years, entrance into Hawaii local politics, and present-day tenure as Democratic Congressman for Hawaii.
I recast California Congressional Democrat Bob Filner's lifelong pursuits of social justice and public service.
I sum up the background and accomplishments of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
I retrace Martin O'Malley's rise from Maryland youth to mayor of Baltimore and, finally, governor of the state of Maryland.
On the page above, you can view an assortment of stories that I have written for the nationally distributed, "hyper-local" news service Patch.com.
Cybercriminals are wreaking more havoc by orchestrating group mass-attacks that overpower servers everywhere. IT security professionals adapt their methods as quickly as possible to guard against them, as I discuss in depth in this article for the March-April 2011 edition of the Futurist.
Mars has no "Little Green Men," but it may at some point have given rise to microbes. NASA and the ESA will attempt to find out, as I describe in this article for the July-August 2011 Futurist.
The costs of health care in the United States keep rising quickly, but they don't have to. In this article that ran in the November-December 2009 edition of the Futurist, I describe how Iowa's hospitals and hospital associations have successfully cut inefficiencies out of their systems, trimmed costs, and made their services more accessible for all their state's residents. Other states might want to take note.
Computers are about to make astonishing leaps forward in computing speed and processing power, thanks to engineers' channeling certain mysterious phenomena that occur in subatomic physics. I describe it in depth in this article for the May-June 2011 edition of the Futurist.
Americans remain very unequal in terms of physical health. Deep disparities persist among different ethnic groups and income levels. In this article from the May-June 2009 edition of the Futurist, I survey the disparities and the prospects for reducing them.
I compare and contrast the state of senior citizens' health in the United Kingdom and the United States in this story, which I wrote for the March-April 2011 edition of the Futurist.
Climate change will impact all countries, but it could hit Bangladesh particularly hard. In this article for the January-February 2011 edition of the Futurist, I detail what Bangladesh is doing now to prepare
Special labs can now create rare elements that only occur in the cores of exploding stars. In this article that ran in the July-August 2008 edition of the Futurist, I describe this exciting line of research, why the U.S. government has started funding it, and the possibilities it might hold for big breakthroughs in medicine and energy, as well as astronomy.
This is my book review of "What's Next," edited by Max Brockman. The book is Brockman's compilation of essays from promising new scientists, all of whom put forth the bold new ideas for research and experimentation that they plan to undertake in their future careers.
These six brief book reviews that I wrote ran in the January-February 2011 edition of the Futurist.
I review here "The World in 2050," by Laurence Smith. Smith forecasts steady economic and population growth in Canada, Iceland, Russia, and other northern countries due to global trends in climate, resource constraints, commerce, and energy.
I wrote this batch of brief book reviews for the July-August 2011 edition of the Futurist.
Web-based learning, green home construction, law enforcement's use of social media for crime-fighting purposes... I have written articles on these and many other topics for more publications besides the ones listed above. View these additional articles via the links on the page here.